A NATION'S WATER IN PERIL
“White Water, Black Gold” is an investigative point-of view documentary that follows David Lavallee on his three-year journey across western Canada in search of answers about the activities of the world’s thirstiest oil industry: the Tarsands.
As a mountaineer and hiking guide, David is on the front lines of climate change. Over the past 15 years he has worked in the Columbia Icefields of the Canadian Rockies, and has noticed profound changes in the mountains: climate change is rendering these landscapes unrecognizable.
When David discovers that his province is ramping up growth in an extremely water intensive industry downstream of his beloved icefields, he is surprised he knows so little about this industry. This necessitates a journey: from icefields…to oilfields.
In the course of his journey he makes many discoveries: new science shows that water resources in an era of climate change will be increasingly scarce (putting this industry at risk); first nations people living downstream are contracting bizarre cancers; the upgrading of this oil threatens multiple river systems across Canada and the tailings ponds containing the waste by-products of the process threaten to befoul the third largest watershed in the world. Additionally, a planned pipeline across British Columbia brings fresh threats to BC Rivers and the Pacific Ocean.
“White Water, Black Gold” is a sober look at the untold costs (to water and people) associated with developing the second largest deposit of “oil” in the world.